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studios1.ca : History

Photo: Gabreïl Spiegelschrift Social Ballroom Class studios1.ca/MCR Westmount/Montréal QC

Since 1000000 BCE - or so it feels now as we enter the 23rd year of classes, studios1.ca has offered a diverse range of social Swing, Latin and Ballroom Dancing, creative and classical dances, yoga and pilates courses to over 100 THOUSAND - literally - students!!

Gabreïl, or Gabby as most students call him, has been dancing since he was a wee farm boy. As a teenager he moved to Toronto to go to a School of the Arts which, sadly, was not at all like the school depicted on the TV show FAME. : (

Dropping out at 16, Gabby fell head long - or rather feet over the head while rotating in air - into a professional contemporary dance choreographic career that has filled his life with tons of awesome adventures.

In the mid 1990s while rehearsing an operatic project in Toronto, Gabby was asked to substitute for one of the injured instructors. Surprise! Gabby became a social dance teacher known for the Good Cop, Bad Cop schtick with Dancing on King owner Andrea Chumak in the Ballroom and Latin Dance classes. Shortly after he started the his comprehensive Swing Dance classes that expanded on the departure of Lindy Hop/West Coast Swing teacher Lisa Jacobs. Tap Dance classes (which he taught previously) were started as well as a collaborative Urban Tap & Stomp course with Hip Hop instructor Elaine.

Social dancing it turned out was so much fun, in contrast to the often dark psychological pretense of dance theatre, allowing Gabby to get back to his more blue collar roots balanced with his vast historical and dance theory/technical knowledge that is atypical in social dance instruction.

Wedding choreographies, private lessons, and competition coaching continued into the late 1990s including Continuing Education Courses and K-12 School Workshops and Artist liaison for the Toronto District School Board, Upper Grand District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and individual secondary and post secondary institutions in Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Hamilton and Guelph, Ontario.

Due to traveling and living through out Europe, Ireland, Canada and the United States in the early 2000s it became difficult to host relevant course information on the Gabreïl’s dance theatre ensemble THEVARS. And so studios1.ca was created to be a central place for information and registration for all the offered courses and workshops from all the relative teachers. Notable highlights during this period include teaching out of Temple Studios in Guelph, Ontario, - where Gabby met the illustrious dancer extraordinaire Karen Rose - and at CAMMAC Summer Program at Lakefield College, Ontario.

Settling in Montréal, studios1.ca grew to incorporate the Marianopolis Community Recreation Program from Marianopolis College, with instructors Katie Ewald, Emily Honegger, Mika Lior, Holly Greco, and later, Kasia Malec, and Allison McCreary.

In 2011 Gabreïl was in a car accident. Although everything seemed ok it would turn out that he traumatized his “good” hip. Closing down the Montréal classes, he moved to Ontario where he has been doing physiotherapy with Ronda Schnurr-Smith. For the next couple years he taught private lessons and the odd social ballroom course, but has maintained a low profile - Until now……

Gabby’s back and now in Hamilton!! - Happy Days!!